|Arbouretum — A Gourd of Gold EP (2013)|
Arbouretum — A Gourd of Gold EP
• Alternative band that combined the sludgy jams of stoner rock with melancholy folk.
Formed: 2002 in Baltimore, MD
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Album release: September 10, 2013
Recording date: May 9, 2012
Record Label: Thrill Jockey
1. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald 11:48
2. Carefree Highway 4:22
3. Protocol 4:58
4. Early Morning Rain 5:40
All tracks written by Gordon Lightfoot
• Corey Allender Bass
• Robert Beer Illustrations
• Harvey Birrell Engineer
• Brian Carey Drums
• Rob Girardi Mastering, Mixing
• Dave Heumann Guitar, Vocals
• Gordon Lightfoot Composer
• Stephen O'Malley Art Direction
• Matthew Pierce Keyboards
• Tony Sylvester Liner Notes
Album Moods: Rustic Sad Weary Autumnal Reflective Yearning Brooding Gentle Dark Restrained Somber Spacey Unsettling
Themes: Rainy Day The Great Outdoors Myths & Legends Other Times & Places
Review by Thom Jurek; Score: ***½
¶ 8 months after Coming Out of the Fog, Arbouretum showcase their love of great songwriting with this 4-track, 26-minute collection of cover songs written by Gordon Lightfoot.
¶ The band have previously revealed their skill at melding post-pych jams with songwriting craft, with previous renditions of Jimmy Webb’s “The Highwayman,” and to a less bombastic degree, with Bob Dylan’s “Tomorrow Is a Long Time.”
¶ Lightfoot may have sold loads of records in the 1970s, but outside his native Canada, he is hardly afforded the reverence he deserves as a brilliant narrative songwriter. He’s often paired with John Denver and Jim Croce, though he is from a far more rugged folk tradition. Commencing with “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” Arbouretum dig into the story of the ship, the storm, and the men who were lost with genuine reverence, sorrow, and confidence. Spinning out over nearly 12 minutes, Dave Heumann and company use brooding, dynamic restraint, controlled feedback, and a nearly funereal waltz tempo underscored by thrumming tom-toms that communicate the spirit of dread in the story. Using country-rock with a cascading organ in the backdrop to illustrate “Carefree Highway,” Arbouretum showcase the bittersweet nature of lost love with the protagonist blaming only himself for his loneliness — without a trace of camp or nostalgia, and with a tempo and textural presentation that recalls Neil Young’s “Southern Man.” The genuine surprise in the sparse yet spaced-out treatment of “Protocol,” with its floating wah-wah and fingerpicked guitars, droning rhythm section, and traces of feedback, is highlighted by a reverbed organ that threatens to explode as the track gathers tension and volume, but never quite does. Closer “Early Morning Rain” is completely revisioned. Encasing it in thundering, rumbling tom-toms, shimmering cymbals, dissonant organ, droning guitars, and a wall of reverb caging the vocal throughout its five-and-a-half minute duration, it comes closest to derailing the familiar melody in favor of rockist power and naked emotion. That said, as close as it comes to the edge, Heumann commands the proceedings, sticking close to the melody line even as the instruments surge, flutter, and spiral in a maelstrom, keeping the tune’s meaning inside the lyric. Arbouretum have found the inner and outer spaces inside Lightfoot’s story songs, offering shades and dimensions in their meaning. On A Gourd of Gold, they explore them with depth and taste, revealing them to a new generation in the process and highlighting the depth they possessed all along. (www.allmusic.com) / "From the time we started Latitudes, we’ve held a secret wish list of bands that we intended to lure into our studio. We’ve cut a major notch in our bedpost by finally scoring with Arbouretum, a band that meets universal approval at Latitudes HQ. Arbouretum offer up four cover versions of the brilliant Gordon Lightfoot, the oft-overlooked Canadian singer-songwriter who helped define the folk-rock sound of the Sixties and Seventies. The highlight of the session is unsurprisingly the song that Lightfoot considers to be his finest work, the ballad telling the tale of the doomed cargo ship the Edmond Fitzgerald, which sank in Lake Superior in 1975, taking 29 crew to their watery graves." — Latitudes / Also: By Janne Oinonen, 20 August 2013; Score: 8/10 : http://thelineofbestfit.com/reviews/albums/arbouretum-gourd-of-gold-ep-135110 // Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArbouretumBand
|Arbouretum — A Gourd of Gold EP (2013)|
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